A Travellerspoint blog

2014 OCEAN PRINCESS - GERAINGERFJORD

IT'S NORWAY, IT'S FJORDS.

CONTINUING NORTH, WE ENTER THE WONDERLAND OF GERAINGERFJORD.

THIS LADY WAS ALSO IN MY DOVER B & B. SHE CONSTANTLY GOT MY NAME WRONG & I HAVE A BLOCK ON HERS. SHE SURE DID A LOT OF SWIMMING...

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PASSING THE SEVEN SISTER WATERFALLS..

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WE ARE GOING TO TENDER ASHORE DOWN AT THE END...

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PASSING SOME LOCALS....

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I AM GOING TO WALK UP INTO THE HILLS, ALONGSIDE A WATERFALL....

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I AM PRETTY POOPED BY THIS TIME & HEAD FOR THE HOTEL IN FRONT. TAKE OUT A MORTGAGE FOR A BEER & SIT CHATTING WITH AN ENGLISH COUPLE OFF ONE OF THE OTHER CRUISE SHIPS IN TOWN.

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THEN HEAD BACK DOWN AGAIN.. THIS CAR IS IN THE HOTEL LOBBY.

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AND THIS SNOWMOBILE AT A MUSEUM

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ANOTHER LOCAL IN TOWN....

AND THE TENDER BACK HOME

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EMMA, MY LOVELY MEXICAN CHAMBERMAID, TAKING A LITTLE BREAK IN DECK. SHE DOES NOT GET TOO MANY OF THOSE..

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BACK DOWN THE FJORD...

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SOME EXCLUSIVE ADDRESSES. NOT TOO MANY NEIGHBOURS

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AND BACK OUT TO SEA.. AFTER A VERY RELAXING DAY....

Posted by hasbeen Tue 22 Jul 2014 14:42 Archived in Norway Comments (0)

2014 OCEAN PRINCESS - BERGEN

A GREEK CONCERT, OR MAYBE NOT....

FINALLY, I AM ON BOARD THE OCEAN PRINCESS, WHICH IS VERY FAMILIAR AS I WAS ON IT A MONTH IN 2012 & TWO MONTHS ON A SISTER SHIP IN 2013.

THIS VOYAGE IS BILLED AS THE 'VOYAGE TO THE MIDNIGHT SUN', NOT 'THE VOYAGE TO THE NORTHERN LIGHTS' AS SOME, YET TO BE DISAPPOINTED PEOPLE THINK IT TO BE.

HERE WE GO, LEAVING THE WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER BEHIND WITH NOT A BLUE BIRD IN SIGHT...

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JUST A SEAGULL...

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AND COMING INTO THE PORT OF BERGEN, OUR FIRST PORT IN NORWAY & MY FIRST TIME HERE TOO.

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AND YOU HAVE ALL HEARD HOW EXPENSIVE NORWAY IS, WELL I BEG TO DIFFER....

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AND THIS LADY IS THE FIRST OF A SURPRISING NUMBER OF BEGGARS I SEE IN NORWAY...

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SOME REALLY NICE ART WORK ON DISPLAY....

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I WAS TAKING THOSE PHOTOS WHILE WAITING FOR MY TOUR TO START & COULD NOT FIND THE START POINT. I WENT TO ASK IN THE TOURIST INFO PLACE AND SPOKE TO AN AMERICAN TOURIST FROM MY SHIP WHO INFORMED ME HE WAS GOING TO A GREEK CONCERT. WHAT A STRANGE THING TO DO. ALL THE WAY TO NORWAY FOR A GREEK CONCERT.

I LATER FOUND HIM ON MY TOUR WHICH IS TO AN EDVARD GREIG CONCERT.

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UP INTO THE HILLS BEYOND BERGEN WE GO....

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AND ARRIVE AT EDVARD GREIG'S HOUSE ....

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WHERE WE GET A SHORT TOUR & THEN ENTER THIS BUILDING FOR A PIANO RECITAL OF GREIGS WORKS...

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THE LITTLE HUT IS WHERE HE COMPOSED HIS WORKS IN UTTER SERENITY..

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HERE IS THE END OF THE CONCERT & YOU CAN SEE THE HUT BEYOND THE PIANO.. WITH THE WATER BEYOND IT..

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AFTER A WONDERFUL HOUR OF MUSIC WE HEAD BACK TO BERGEN WHERE I HAVE SOME FRESH SHRIMP, SOME MUSSELS & WHAT I UNDERSTOOD TO BE A HERBAL BEER..

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NOT MUCH OF OF A VIEW FROM THE SHRIMP SHACK BUT, .......

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Posted by hasbeen Mon 21 Jul 2014 16:20 Archived in Norway Comments (0)

2014 OCEAN PRINCESS - ON THE WAY, UK

PUBS MOSTLY, & A FEW BRIDGES


View 2014 PRINCESS - NORWAY on hasbeen's travel map.

SO - WITH A GOODBYE TO THE PRESIDENT OF ICELAND - IT'S TIME TO SAY HELLO TO LONDON & HOPEFULLY VISIT PLACES I HAVE NOT SEEN BEFORE.

USUALLY WHEN VISITING THE UK I TAKE AN EXPENSIVE CUPBOARD IN THE WEST END NEAR PADDINGTON, CONVENIENT FOR THE HEATHROW EXPRESS.

THIS TIME I HAVE DECIDED TO SPLURGE & STAY AT THE TOWER HOTEL WITH A VIEW OF TOWER BRIDGE. THIS IS FROM MY WINDOW...

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NEXT DAY I MEET UP WITH VALERIE WHO HAS JOURNEYED DOWN FROM YORK TO WANDER AROUND WITH ME. SHE IS ALSO A LONDONER WHO HOPES WE SEE BITS OF LONDON WE HAVE NOT SEEN BEFORE.

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AFTER BREAKFAST, IT'S OUT OF THE HOTEL, UNDER TOWER BRIDGE & A WALK ALONGSIDE THE TOWER. I ASKED A COLLEAGUE ONE OF THESE SOLDIERS WHAT REGIMENT THEY WERE IN.
"NOT A REGIMENT! WE ARE MARINES."

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WE CARRY ON AROUND THE TOWER & UP ONTO THE BRIDGE

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MY GRAN ONCE TOLD ME SHE WALKED OVER THE CATWALK ACROSS THE TOP OF TOWER BRIDGE THE DAY IT OPENED. I DID NOT BELIEVE HER AT THE TIME BUT IT IS POSSIBLE.

NOW IT'S MY TURN.

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THERE IS A PHOTO DISPLAY THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH TOWER BRIDGE. HERE'SA FAMOUS FACE FROM MY YOUTH WHOSE NAME ESCAPES ME. SHE WAS ALL OVER THE PAPERS IN THE 60'S. NOT AS A MODEL THOUGH. CHRISTINE KEELER PERHAPS?

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WE DESCEND A LEG OF THE BRIDGE & INTO THE WORKINGS THE RAISE & LOWER THE BRIDGE. VERY IMPRESSIVE.

VALERIE TELLS ME THIS IS A VICTORIAN POST BOX. IDENTIFIABLE BY THE 'VR' ON IT AND IT'S HEXAGONAL SHAPE

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NOW ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE THAMES WHERE IT IS MUCH WARMER. NOTE THE PALM TREES.

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THIS IS THE TRACK THROUGH WHAT USED TO BE BUTLERS WHARF THAT IS NOW MOSTLY RESTAURANTS AND APARTMENTS. EXPENSIVE APARTMENTS. VERY EXPENSIVE APARTMENTS.

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BACK OVER THE BRIDGE NOW AND AFTER A BUS RIDE WE ARRIVE AT OUR FIRST PUB - THE PROSPECT OF WHITBY, RIGHT ON THE RIVER.
MANY HOURS I SPENT HERE IN MY YOUTH.

A FIRST TIME FOR VALERIE.

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A PINT AND SOME PUB GRUB & IT'S A BUS AND DOCKLANDS LIGHT RAIL RIDE TO THE VERY UNUSUAL THAMES BARRIER PARK.

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AND A VIEW OF THE BARRIER.

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HANDS UP EVERYONE WHO KNEW THERE WAS A CABLE CAR OVER THE THAMES...

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HERE IT IS .... TO GREENWICH

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AND A FAST FERRY UP RIVER PASSING THE TOWER, TO THE MILLENIUM BRIDGE

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WHICH WE WALK OVER & GET A FINE VIEW OF ST. PAULS..

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BUT IT'S THIRSTY WORK, ALL THIS WALKING. TIME FOR A CIDER IN THE ART DECO, BLACKRIARS PUB...

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BOTH THE CIDER & PUB ARE FIRSTS FOR US & YES - THIS IS STILL INSIDE THE PUB

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MORE PEOPLE SMOKING ON THE STREET OUTSIDE THAN INSIDE.

CONTINUING UP ONTO HIGH HOLBORN, DOWN CHANCERY LANE. PASSING THIS PUB ....

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... AND INTO THE LEAFY SANCTUARY OF LINCOLNS INN. NOT AN INN AS IN PUB, BUT AN INN AS IN INNS OF COURT.

SUCH A LOVELY, LEAFY NON-TOURISTY AREA IN LONDON

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WE HAD A CHAT WITH THIS GUY ABOUT HIS ELECTRIC CAR. SEEMS HE FILLS IT UP FOR FREE. A BIT OF A CURIOSITY..

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ONTO CAREY STREET WHICH I REMEMBER AS A SAYING FOR BEING BANKRUPT AS THIS IS WHERE THE BANKRUPTCY LAWYERS CONGREGATE.. AND INTO A NICE LITTLE PUB CALLED THE FIVE STARS.... I BUY DRINKS AND PEANUTS AT HE BAR AND A GIRL SITTING ON A BAR STOOL MAKES TO STEAL A PEANUT. I OFFER HER SOME & SHE TAKES TWO.

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JUST A PHOTO IN THIS PUB WHICH LOOKS LIKE IT ONCE WAS A BANK...

VALERIE IS GETTING TIRED BY NOW. CAN'T IMAGINE WHY. SHE GOES OFF TO HER HOTEL & I HEAD EAST ALONG FLEET STREET TOWARDS MINE..

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PASSING THROUGH ST. KATHERINES DOCK AREA, BEHIND MY HOTEL...

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TIME TO RELAX AFTER ALL THAT, SITTING OUTSIDE THE HOTEL....

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A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP TO GET READY FOR A TRAIN RIDE TO COLCHESTER TO MEET A SCHOOL MATE - PAM. WHO I LAST SAW TEN YEARS AGO AND IN 1959 OR 1960 PRIOR TO THAT

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HERE WE ARE IN COLCHESTER. WE MET AT THE CASTLE BUT I HAVE NO PHOTOS THERE, NOR IN THE ART GALLERY WHERE PAM TOOK US FOR LUNCH.

HERE SHE IS SHOWING US AN OUT OF THE WAY RUIN OF AN ABBEY...

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AND NOW PAM SHOWS US INTO A PUB CONVERTED FROM A THEATER - COMPLETE WITH ROYALTY LOOKING DOWN THEIR NOSES AT US FROM THE GALLERY

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THIS IS A WATER TOWER.

JUST BEEN SOLD AND IS TO BECOME A RESTAURANT..

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A GREAT, IF SWIFT VISIT WITH PAM & AFTER SAYING GOODBYE TO HER WE HEAD BACK TO LONDON IN TIME FOR THE CEREMONY OF THE KEYS. THE CEREMONIAL LOCKING UP OF THE TOWER OF LONDON. BEST FREE ENTERTAINMENT AROUND.

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THE FOLLOWING DAY NOW AND TIME FOR ANOTHER WALK ALONG THE THAMES ....

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A THAMES BARGE & A DISTANT VIEW OF THE MONUMENT TO THE GREAT FIRE OF LONDON...

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AND NOW WE CALL IN TO THE GEORGE BEHIND LONDON BRIDGE STATION. ONE OF THE OLDEST, IF NOT THE OLDEST, PUBS IN LONDON. ORIGINALLY A COACHING INN. WE ATE UPSTAIRS. ROAST BEEF & YORKSHIRE PUDDING FOR ME.

THE WAITRESS IS FROM WEST AFRICA BUT LIVES IN LEYTON, NOT FAR FROM WHERE I WAS BORN. SHE WAS TELLING ME SHE OWNS HER HOUSE IN LEYTON & A PLACE IN WEST AFRICA. I GUES SHE COULD LIVE LIKE A PRINCESS IF SHE SELLS UP & GOES BACK TO GUINEA.
LOVELY LADY.

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THERE'S THE SHARD. HIGHEST BUILDING IN LONDON, OR EUROPE MAYBE. COSTS AN ARM & A LEG TO GO TO THE TOP.

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SOUTH BANK ENTERTAINMENT....

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VALERIE SPOTTED THE BRIDGE BEING RAISED TO LET A BARGE THROUGH..

.WHILE WE WHILED AWAY SOME TIME WAITING FOR OUR EVENING PERFORMANCE OF ANTONY & CLEOPATRA BY SOME UP & COMING AUTHOR AT THE GLOBE THEATER.

NOT BAD, BUT WAY TOO LONG AT 3 HOURS, AND OF COURSE WE ALL KNOW KNOW THE ENDING.

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A SNEAKY PHOTO OF SOME ACTION ON STAGE. ACCIDENTALLY SNEAKY AS IT HAPPENS. IT WAS DURING THE INTERLUDE & THIS GUY WAS READING A GOATS ENTRAILS SO I TOOK A PIC ONLY TO GET TOLD OFF BY AN USHER.

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A WALK BACK OVER THE WOBBLY BRIDGE & THAT'S IT FOR LONDON & GOODBYE TO VALERIE. SHE HEADS BACK UP NORTH & I GO SOUTH TO ROYAL TONBRIDGE WELLS. NO PARTICULAR REASON, BUT I LIKE THE NAME & IT'S ON MY WAY TO DOVER.

I WENT TO A PLAY OF RISING DAMP AT THE ASSEMBLY HALL. MOST ENJOYABLE. VERY MUCH AS I REMEMBER THE TV SHOW

AND HERES THE OPERA HOUSE - WHICH IS ACTUALLY A PUB OWNED BY WEATHERSPOONS, THE CHAIN THAT OWNS THE THEATER PUB I WAS IN AT COLCHESTER

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A WALK AROUND TONBRIDGE - HERE'S THE AREA KNOWN AS THE PANTILES...

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INSIDE A PUB....

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PASSING A CAFE I SAW THIS SIGN SO I STOPPED FOR AN HOUR ON A BENCH OUTSIDE. NOWHERE TO SIT INSIDE AS THE BAND TOOK UP THE WHOLE PLACE.

THESE ARE OF MY HOTEL. THE HOTEL DU VIN & BISTRO. VERY NICE WITH PRICES TO MATCH. QUEEN VICTORIA STAYED HERE, BEFORE SHE WAS QUEEN.

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THESE ARE OF THE MENS BATHROOM. MODIGLIANI ON THE WALLS.

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NOTE THE LITTLE BOY POKING HIS HEAD OUT...

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IN THE NEARBY PARK. CARE TO LEARN HOW TO PLAY CROQUET? THIS LADY GIVES LESSONS...

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IN AND AROUND A LITTLE MUSEUM. CROWDED WITH SCHOOLKIDS..

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HAVE MOVED ON TO DOVER NOW AND TOOK THE TRAIN ONE STOP UP THE LINE. JUST A SHORT WALK TOOK ME TO TEMPLE EWELL. TEMPLE AS IN KNIGHTS TEMPLAR.

I AM GOING TO FOLLOW THE RIVER DOUR ( FOR WHICH DOVER IS NAMED ) FROM HERE DOWN TO THE SEA.

THE RIVER ACTUALLY RUNS THROUGH THE GARDEN OF THE FOX PUB. NICE COINCIDENCE AS I WAS IN THE PUB ANYWAY. WE HAD A TOILET LIKE THAT WHERE I LIVED IN LONDON. NOT AS FANCY MIND.

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HERE'S THE RIVER...

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IT'S A NICE WALK ALONG THE RIVER. SIGNPOSTED BUT I STILL ASKED THE WAY OF A LOT OF PEOPLE.

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I MET THIS COUPLE IN MY B & B & TOOK A CAB WITH THEM UP TO DOVER CASTLE. DON & EL. I SAW THEN A LOT OVER THE NEXT TWO WEEKS AS THEY ARE ALSO ON MY CRUISE & THAT IS THE OCEAN PRINCESS WAITING TO TAKE US ON BOARD.

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THE CHAPEL IN THE CASTLE WAS HOLDING A D DAY SERVICE SO I POPPED IN. THE VICAR HAD PUT TOGETHER A SOUND MONTAGE. SPEECHES. BOMBS FALLING. PLANES ROARING. VERA LYNN SINGING.
VERY MOVING.

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THIS IS MY LAST PUB. NEXT DOOR ALMOST TO MY B & B. THE WALLS & CEILING ARE COVERED WITH NAMES OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE DONE THE CROSS CHANNEL SWIM.

THE CRUISE IS UP NEXT... TOOK TWO WEEKS TO GET HERE.

Posted by hasbeen Sun 20 Jul 2014 14:43 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

2014 OCEAN PRINCESS - ON THE WAY, ICELAND

THIS TRIP IS GOING TO BE A CRUISE ON THE OCEAN PRINCESS FROM DOVER.

BUT FIRST, A STOPOVER IN ICELAND.

AS SOON AS I LANDED, I FOUND ICELAND HAS SOMETHING UNIQUE IN MY EXPERIENCE. DUTY FREE ON ARRIVAL. WHAT A GREAT IDEA. I AM SURPRISED EVERY COUNTRY DOES NOT DO IT.
I PASSED ON USING IT THOUGH I SHOULD HEVE PICKED UP A BOTTLE OF SOMETHING & LEFT IT AS A TIP FOR THE CHAMBERMAID.
BOOZE IS EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE HERE WITH A 25.5 % TAX IN RESTAURANTS ON A BEER.
LIKE EVERYWHERE, THINGS CAN BE EXPENSIVE OR NOT. I BOUGHT A THREE DAY REYKJARVIK BUS PASS FOR ABOUT 24 DOLLARS & SNACKS FROM THE SUPERMARKETS WERE REASONABLY PRICED. THE HOTEL BJORK WAS UNDER 300 DOLLARS TOTAL FOR 4 NIGHTS, BREAKFAST INCLUDED. NOTHING FANCY BUT CLEAN & MORE THAN ADEQUATE.

ANYWAY - ON WITH THE TRIP.... WITH A WALK AROUND REYKJARVIK

PASSED A CHURCH

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AND ANOTHER UNIQUE FEATURE....

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THIS IS FROM INSIDE A RESTAURANT INSIDE THE TOWN HALL. VERY SWISH.

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MY ONLY POLAR BEAR SIGHTING...

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AND HERE IS THE PENIS MUSEUM. ALWAYS CLOSED WHEN I PASSED BY WHICH IS UNFORTUNATE SINCE IT SOLD THE FUNNIEST T-SHIRT I HAVE SEEN - IT SAYS ' THIS MUSEUM IS NOT FOR PUSSIES'.

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NOW I AM OUT ON A TOUR.... THEY PICKED ME UP AT THE HOTEL... GREAT.

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OUT INTO THE COUNTRYSIDE... THIS IS WHERE THE ATLANTIC RIDGE IS ABOVE SEA LEVEL, WHERE EUROPE & NORTH AMERICA ARE SEPARATING. STAND HERE FOR A FEW MILLION YEARS & THE MOUNTAINS IN THE DISTANCE WILL BE TOO FAR AWAY TO SEE.

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A COUPLE OF GIRLS FROM MONTREAL...

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LOTS OF HORSES ON ICELAND & IT TOOK ME A WHILE TO FIGURE WHY THAT WOULD BE.

FOOD.

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PASSING THOUGH A THERMAL AREA .... ON THE WAY TO A STOP AT...

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.. A RATHER LARGE WATERFALL..

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THEN WE BACKTRACK FOR AN HOUR OR SO AT THE THERMAL AREA.....GEYSIRS ERUPTING RIGHT & LEFT...

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ALL THE GEYSIRS ARE NAMED AFTER THIS ONE, WHICH DOES NOT ERUPT ANYMORE.

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THIS LADY IS PAINTING VIEWS FROM INSIDE A THERMAL POWER PLANT. IT SUPPLIES HOT WATER TO ALL OF REYKJARVIK, 27 KMS AWAY & ONLY LOSES 2 DEGREES CENTIGRADE OVER THAT DISTANCE.

REMARKABLE.

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NOW I AM OUT ON THE OCEAN FOR A WHALE WATCHING TOUR....

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AND THAT'S WHAT I SAW OF THE WHALES. A NICE BOAT RIDE, THOUGH IT WAS A TAD CHILLY...

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BACK TO REYKJARVIK & A WALK AROUND THE HARBOUR... THIS IS THE CONCERT HALL...GETTING A CLEAN

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LOTS OF GRADUATION GROUPS WANDERING AROUND MAKING LOTS OF NOISE & HAVING PARTIES ON THE STREET..

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THE VIEW FROM THE HOTEL BJORK & A STOP-OFF AT THE BLUE LAGOON ON THE WAY TO THE AIRPORT...

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AND THAT'S IT FOR ICELAND. MORE THAN WORTH ANOTHER VISIT BUT MAY IS TOO EARLY AS TOURS TO OUTLYING PARTS OF ICELAND DO NOT START TIL LATER IN JUNE.

ARRIVING IN LONDON THE STEWARDESS ASKED ME TO LET THE ICELANDIC PRESIDENT GET OFF FIRST. I WAS TEMPTED TO SAY NO.

Posted by hasbeen Sat 19 Jul 2014 17:15 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

2015 H & A - SYDNEY TO VANCOUVER

THE FINAL SEGMENT OF A TRP THAT WILL START IN HONG KONG IN ANUARY 2015


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UNDER CONSTRUCTION - TEST 1

Stop 1/9on 2015 H & A - SYDNEY TO VANCOUVER
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

19 Apr 2015 - 19 Apr 2015

Posted by hasbeen Sat 28 Dec 2013 08:58 Archived in Australia Comments (0)

2015 PADMA - MEKONG, LUANG PRABANG

CRUISE ON THE MEKONG


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UNDER CONSTRUCTION

2015 PADMA - MEKONG, LUANG PRABANG

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Covering 10277 km / 6386 miles

1 : Mandalay, Mandalay Region, Myanmar (Burma)
2 : Bangkok, Thailand
3 : Luang Prabang, Louangphabang, Laos
4 : Brunei
5 : Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
6 : Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Posted by hasbeen Sat 28 Dec 2013 08:52 Archived in Laos Comments (0)

2015 PADMA - IRRAWADY TO MANDALAY

A CRUISE ON THE IRRAWADY


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UNDER CONSTRUCTION

2015 PADMA - IRRAWADY TO MANDALY

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Covering 2379 km / 1478 miles

1 : Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
2 : Yangon, Yangon Region, Myanmar (Burma)
3 : Mandalay, Mandalay Region, Myanmar (Burma)
4 : Katha, Sagaing, Myanmar (Burma)
5 : Mandalay, Mandalay Region, Myanmar (Burma)

Posted by hasbeen Sat 28 Dec 2013 08:46 Archived in Myanmar Comments (0)

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